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Jihadists Swiss step up anti-terrorism measures

Defence Minister Ueli Maurer does not rule out an extremist attack on Switzerland, but he warns against rash decisions

(Keystone)

The government is hiring additional staff for the federal intelligence service and topping up financial support for the cantonal state security authorities to boost the fight against suspected terrorism.

Six posts, limited to three years, will be created to enhance information gathering and analysis as part of a preventive anti-terrorism campaign, according to the justice ministry.

The cabinet on Wednesday also decided to provide an extra CHF2 million ($2.3 million) in funding for the 26 cantons.

The defence ministry declined to give further details. In 2014, the ministry spent CHF62.9 million on the intelligence services.

The announcement came two weeks after the deadly attacks by jihadists in neighbouring France.

The government reiterated that there are no indications of an immediate assault by Islamic extremists on targets in Switzerland. However it cautioned against complacency

“An attack similar to the one in Paris can’t be ruled out,” the statement said.

Last year, the government banned the militant al-Qaeda and Islamic State groups and set up a task force investigating cases of suspected jihadists returning to Switzerland.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch


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